The Moscow Commercial Court supported Russia’s PTO decision on the 23rd of May 2012, refusing to allow Parfumeria XXI Veka, the Russian perfume producer, to register the word mark “Avatar” as a trademark for perfume.
The PTO had rejected the trademark application in April 2011. They stated that the perfume mark would be identical to the name of the 2009 American science fiction blockbuster hit.
It was argued by the PTO that the registration would probably mislead the public and that the Russian company would unfairly capitalize on the reputation of another entity. They also stated that the consumers might be led to believe that the American film studio and the Russian perfume maker are business partners seeing as the trademark is associated with 20th Century Fox.
Parfumeria XXI Veka, which has been operating in Russia for over 10 years, called the PTO’s decision unfounded and biased, arguing that the mark Avatar is not registered in Russia and that the PTO failed to show how the consumers would be misled.
Russia’s PTO made 20th Century Fox aware of the dispute and the film studio’s representatives were present at the hearing.
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